Friday, August 22, 2008

Cockroaches - General

Cockroaches are among the most common insects. Based on fossil evidence, cockroaches are known to have been present on Earth for nearly 350 million years. There are approximately 3,350 species of cockroaches worldwide, with about 70 species found in the United States. The good news is that only a few of these coackroach species routinely infest or homes. The most commons of these are the German Cockroach (pictured), American Cockroach, Oriental Cockroach, Brownbanded Cockroach, Smoky Brown Cockroach, Australian Cockroach, Brown Cockroach, Woods Cockroach, Field Cockroach, and the Asian Cockroach. Of these species the first 5 represent 95 or more of all cockroach management concerns in and around buildings.

The presence of cockroaches is often detected by their damage or by the fecal matter, called frass that they deposit. Cockroaches may eat such things as glue, paste, starch as well as certain colors of dye. The most importan aspect of cockroach damage derives from their habit of feeding and harboring in damp and unsanitary places, such as sewers, garbage disposals and damp unsanitary ares of kitchens, bathrooms and storage areas. Filth and germs from these sources are spread by the cockroaches onto food supplies, food preparation surfaces, dishes, utensils and other surfaces. Cockroaches contaminate far more food than they eat. Diseases transmitted as a result of these habits include various forms of food poisioning or gastroenteritis. For others, the presence of cockroaches constitiutes an important source of health threatening allergens and can even trigger life threatening asthma attacks.

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